An Apple a Day: Old-Fashioned Proverbs --Timeless Words to Live By

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Penguin, Mar 3, 2011 - Reference - 176 pages
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From Old Testament proverbs to modern phrases like "the best things in life are free," An Apple a Day takes a fun look at expressions that "have stood the test of time."
Read through from start to finish or search through the list of hundreds of the most common proverbs, arranged from A to Z for easy reference. You'll learn about each proverb's surprising origins, why some are valid and others are not, the derivation and meanings behind them, and their relevance in today's society.
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Two heads are better than one: Like the less-familiar "Four eyes see better than two," this proverb extols the benefits of having someone else help you make up your mind-and it's a view that goes back to at least the fourteenth century. But while it is always useful to have a second opinion (A sounding board? Someone else to blame?) it might also be worth bearing in mind the disadvantages of design or decision-making by committee: something that really pleases no one. So whereas two heads may well be better than one, three could be a crowd. Laughter is the best medicine: This idea is an ancient one and is found in, appropriately, the book of Proverbs: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." It has prompted a surprising amount of research, with the result that some scientists claim that laughter has the same benefits as a mild workout-it stretches muscles, sends more oxygen to the tissues, and generally makes you feel healthier. One study even claims that laughing heartily for 10-15 minutes burns 50 calories. But let's pause for thought here. The world may laugh with you over a joke or a rerun of Seinfeld, but if you make a habit of laughing heartily for 10-15 minutes for no apparent reason, the world is going to think you are nuts and cross the street to avoid you. It may be worth striving for a happy medium. An apple a day keeps the doctor away: A common British folk saying, this is one of the few proverbs that can be taken at face value. All it means is that apples are good for you. The Romans knew this and so did the Anglo-Saxons, who listed the crabapple as one of the nine healing plants given to the world by the god Woden. They probably didn't know, as we now do, that apples contain fiber, antioxidants, and sundry vitamins and minerals that help to prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, and various forms of cancer. But they did know that they were cooling, cleansing, and soothing, whether taken as a natural diuretic or applied externally to inflammations. An anonymous medieval text called The Haven of Health recommended eating an apple to "relieve your feelings" if you were going to bed alone, while Ayurvedic medicine says that apples cure headaches and promote vitality. So the jury is out on whether or not apples are good for your sex life, but they are certainly good for pretty much everything else. Guaranteed to amuse and inform, this is the perfect gift for any language lover. Make this and all of the Reader's Digest Version books a permanent fixture on your eReader, and you'll have instant access to searchable knowledge. Whether you need homework help or want to win that trivia game, this series is the trusted source for fun facts.


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Just what is a proverb exactly? Simply put (via the author), a proverb is…”a piece of wisdom or advice expressed in a short and memorable way”. In other words, those catchy little phrases and sayings ... Read full review


Absencemakes the heart grow fonder
Actionsspeak louder than words
It takesallkinds to make a world
Allwork and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Allswell that ends well
Askno questions and youll be told no lies
Abadpenny always turns up
Beautyis in the eye of the beholder
Knowledgeis power
Laughand the world laughs with you
Leastsaid soonest mended
Lightningnever strikes twice in the same place
Littlethings please little minds
Thelongestjourney begins with a single step
Loveis blind
Everymanhas his price

Beautyis only skin deep
Beggarscant be choosers
Betterthe devil you know than the devil you dont
Thebiggerthey are the harder they fall
Birdsof a feather flock together
There is none soblindas he who will not see
Boyswill be boys
You cant makebrickswithout straw
You cant have yourcakeand eat it too
Acatmay look at a king
Achangeis as good as a rest
Dontchangehorses in midstream
Thechildis father of the man
Cleanlinessis next to godliness
Coldhands warm heart
Too manycooksspoil the broth
Dontcountyour chickens before they are hatched
Thecourseof true love never did run smooth
Its no usecryingover spilled milk
Thedarkesthour is before the dawn
Thedevilfinds work for idle hands
Discretionis the better part of valor
Dounto others as you would have them do unto you
Adrowningman will clutch at a straw
Theearlybird catches the worm
Easiersaid than done
Dont put all youreggsin one basket
Enoughis as good as a feast
Toerris human to forgive divine
Theexceptionproves the rule
Familiaritybreeds contempt
Onlyfoolsand horses work
Afriendin need is a friend indeed
Givea man enough rope and hell hang himself
Whom thegodslove dies young
Goodwine needs no bush
Halfa loaf is better than no bread
Handsomeis as handsome does
Hellhath no fury like a woman scorned
He whohesitatesis lost
There ishonoramong thieves
Hungeris the best sauce
Ignoranceis bliss
Jackof all trades master of none
AManshome is his castle
Marryin haste repent at leisure
Necessityis the mother of invention
Neverput off till tomorrow what you can do today
Nothingventured nothing gained
You cant make anomeletwithout breaking eggs
Patienceis a virtue
Thepenis mightier than the sword
Take care of thepenniesand the pounds will take care of themselves
Peoplewho live in glass houses shouldnt throw stones
Littlepitchershave big ears
An ounce ofpreventionis worth a pound of cure
Theproofof the pudding is in the eating
It neverrainsbut it pours
Theroadto hell is paved with good intentions
Allroadslead to Rome
Romewasnt built in a day
Whatssaucefor the goose is sauce for the gander
If theshoefits wear it
Letsleepingdogs lie
Theres nosmokewithout fire
Sparethe rod and spoil the child
Astitchin time saves nine
Strikewhile the iron is hot
You mustsufferto be beautiful
You canttakeit with you
Timeflies when youre having fun
Theres atimeand a place for everything
Theres many a goodtuneplayed on an old fiddle
Unitedwe stand divided we fall
Varietyis the spice of life
Thewallshave ears
Awatchedpot never boils
Youre onlyyoungonce
Zealwithout knowledge is the sister of folly

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